Adam Levine

Ariana Grande

Ed Sheeran

Shawn Mendes

Taylor Swift



Chelsea Whitaker

Mason Crest Philadelphia • Miami

Mason Crest PO Box 221876 Hollywood, FL 33022 (866) MCP-BOOK (toll-free) www.masoncrest.com

Copyright © 2022 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher. First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ISBN (hardback) 978-1-4222-4485-2

ISBN (series) 978-1-4222-4480-7 ISBN (ebook) 978-1-4222-7332-6 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Whitaker, Chelsea, author. Title: Taylor Swift / Chelsea Whitaker. Description: Hollywood : Mason Crest, 2022. | Series: Pop music stars | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2020005771 | ISBN 9781422244852 (hardback) | ISBN 9781422273326 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Swift, Taylor, 1989–Juvenile literature. | Country musicians–United States–Biography–Juvenile literature. Classification: LCC ML3930.S989 W55 2021 | DDC 782.421642092 [B]–dc23

LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020005771 Developed and Produced by National Highlights, Inc. Editor: Andrew Luke Production: Crafted Content, LLC

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WORDS TO UNDERSTAND: These words, with their easy-to-understand definitions, will increase readers’ understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. SIDEBARS: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing themwith additional educational content to supplement the text. TEXT-DEPENDENT QUESTIONS: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. RESEARCH PROJECTS: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. SERIES GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout this series.Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field. Contents BREAKTHROUGH ������������������������������������������������������������������ 6 CHAPTER 1: A STAR IS BORN �����������������������������������������������������11 CHAPTER 2: GREATEST MOMENTS ������������������������������������������������25 CHAPTER 3: BEHIND THE SCENES ����������������������������������������������39 CHAPTER 4: BRAND TAYLOR SWIFT ��������������������������������������������� 51 CHAPTER 5: MODERN MEGASTAR ������������������������������������������������ 63 SERIES GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS ���������������������������������������������76 FURTHER READING ����������������������������������������������������������������77 INTERNET RESOURCES ������������������������������������������������������������77 INDEX �������������������������������������������������������������������������������78 AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY, PHOTO CREDITS & EDUCATIONAL VIDEO LINKS ������80 Key Icons to Look For


Taylor Swift




Taylor Swift



WORDS TO UNDERSTAND culmination— the highest or climactic point of something, especially as attained after a long time momentum— strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events prestigious— inspiring respect and admiration; having high status


Taylor Swift




STARTING OUT STRONG Just seven months after Taylor Swift linked with Big Machine, she released “TimMcGraw” as her first single—a song she co-wrote about a guy who also loved country music. Since the label was so new, she had to put in work to make sure the people who controlled radio content heard the song. She even stuffed copies of the song into envelopes to send out herself.

“With every envelope that I would seal I would look at the address and the station on there and think, ‘Please, please just listen to this one time.’ ”

After months of hard work to get radio play for her single, Big Machine released her debut album, the self-titled Taylor Swift , in 2006. Thanks to the hard work promoting the single, the album was a smash! Three of the songs were written while Swift was in high school. The rest were co-written primarily with Liz Rose, who would become a frequent collaborator on Swift albums. All the songs were authentic and catchy. Taylor Swift was No. 1 on the Top Country Albums Chart for 24 weeks and sold more than seven


a star is born

Listen as Swift describes shooting her second video ever for “Our Song.”

million copies. Taylor Swift ended up being the longest-charting album on the Billboard 200 of the 2000s decade! It was official—the teenage Swift was a star, and Big Machine Records was established as a major player in country music. Being a star at age sixteen meant Swift had to leave high school and pursue music full time. She hit the road to promote her new album. Swift was given a chance to open for the band Rascal Flatts after they fired their original opening act for the tour. With that lucky break, she was able to tour the country, promote her album, and win over lots of new fans. While she was winning fans, Swift was also winning over critics. In 2007, she became the youngest ever recipient of the Nashville Songwriters Association’s Artist-of-the-Year award. Swift was also nominated for Best NewArtist at the 2008 Grammy Awards.While she didn’t win, it was a huge honor for the young songwriter and the culmination of years of hard work.


Taylor Swift

Swift enjoys writing music while she is out on tour performing for her fans.


a star is born

FACING HER FEARS After such a strong debut album, it was important for Swift—and Big Machine Records—to maintain the momentum . Swift had years to write her first album—now she had just months. And, she was on tour promoting her first album the whole time. Luckily, Swift enjoyed writing on the road, and Rose was able to co-write four songs. “I do love writing on the road—I usually write at the concert venue,” Swift remembers. “I’ll find a quiet place in some room at the venue, like the locker room.” The album she and four co-writers wrote while Swift was touring— Fearless — debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts and sold 592,000 copies in its first week—beating a record set by The Eagles! The album continued to sell and stayed high on the charts, peaking at No. 1 for 11 weeks! It became the longest chart-topper ever by a female country artist. Fearless eventually went on to become the bestselling album of all of 2009. People couldn’t get enough of Swift, and critical accolades were rolling in to match her stellar sales. Swift was about to win big—but she was also about to face one of the most trying times of her young career. GIRL, INTERRUPTED In 2009, Swift’s video for “You Belong to Me” earned her a nomination for an MTVVideo Music Award (VMA) for Best FemaleVideo. Swift was up against Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” video as well as Lady Gaga for “Poker Face.” It was a tough competition, and Swift was surprised when her video for “You Belong to Me” was announced as the winner. As she went to claim the award from the stage, rapper KanyeWest rushed the podium, grabbing the mic. “I will let you finish,” he said to the confused crowd, “but Beyoncé had one


Taylor Swift

Swift’s bestselling Fearless album rose to No. 1 on the

charts in 2009. It was the first of eight consecutive No. 1 albums for her, including two 2020 releases, Folklore and Evermore .


a star is born

Swift decided on the more apt title Speak Now for her third album, rather than calling it Enchanted.


Taylor Swift

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